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Busy fall spurs record cargo trends at Thunder Bay


The Port of Thunder Bay has announced a strong fall, yielding excellent cargo results. Total cumulative volume to end November amounted to 8.1 million tonnes versus the year-earlier 6.8 million tonnes. Domestic and foreign vessel calls for the period totalled 388 compared to 329 in 2022.

The port’s dry bulk handling facilities have achieved unprecedented success in potash exports  Nearly half of the port’s total potash volume of 1.5 million tonnes was transported during the last three months. The month of October 2023 was the most successful in recent history, with volumes 22% higher than any other month in the past two years of the potash surge. With December results yet to come, the port’s potash tally has already exceeded last year’s record-breaking seasonal total by over 300,000 MT.

The record-breaking trend in port continues at Keefer Terminal. September proved to be the busiest month in recent history, but that record was subsequently broken in November. Cargo included steel pipe, steel rail, wind turbine blades, and phosphate fertilizer. Keefer Terminal’s year-to-date cargo volume exceeding 100,000 tonnes is currently over 3 times the 5-year average.

November year-to-date grain shipments exceeded 6,000,000 MT, a 20% increase over the same period in 2022, when grain volumes were below normal.

“With the end of the year in sight, Port of Thunder Bay is poised to close the season with exceptional annual results,” said Chris Heikkinen, CEO.

(Photo from Thunder Bay Port Authority)